On Thursday, Jussie Smollett was sentenced to spend 150 days in the Cook County Jail after being convicted of staging a January 2019 hate crime against himself.
The former “Empire” actor was also ordered to spend 30 months of probation, pay a $25,000 dollar fine, and pay over $120,000 dollars of restitution to the City of Chicago.
After his sentencing, Smollett started repeatedly declaring his innocence and yelling “I am not suicidal.” Although it’s clear that Smollett is concerned about his physical safety in prison, a local ABC news affiliate revealed just where Smollett will be spending the remainder of his 150-day sentence.
Jussie Smollet Is In His Own Cell With ‘Direct Observation At All Times’
After being booked, Smollett was led to his own cell. In a written statement provided by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, they explained that Smollett is “housed in his own cell, which is monitored by security cameras in the cell and by officers wearing a body camera who is stationed at the entrance of the cell to ensure Mr. Smollett is under direct observation at all times.”
However, they added that “Mr. Smollett is not being held in solitary confinement. The use of solitary confinement was abolished in 2016, and any claims that he is being held in this manner is false.”
Their written statement also includes that he is allowed “substantial time out of his cell in the common areas on the tier where he is housed,” which is the same privilege granted to “all detained persons.” During this time, Smollett is able to “use the telephone, watch television, and interaction with staff.”
During the time that Smollett is out of his cell “other detainees will not be present in the common areas,” the statement added.
“These protocols are routinely used for individuals ordered into protective custody who may potentially be at risk of harm due to the nature of their charges, their profession, or their noteworthy status,” the message concluded. “The safety and security of all detained individuals, including Mr. Smollett, is the Sheriff’s Office’s highest priority.”
Jussie Smollett’s Lawyers Have Filed An Emergency Injunction Requesting His Release
On Friday, Smollett’s legal team filed an emergency injunction to release him from prison while he is awaiting the possibility of an appeal. An appellate court judge said that prosecutors will have five days to respond to their emergency motion.
ABC Legal Analyst Gil Soffer said that he does not think it is likely that an appeal will be granted in Smollett’s case.
“You see a strong case for appeal when the judge clearly excluded evidence that should have been admitted or admitted evidence that should have been excluded,” Soffer said. “And I don’t see that happening here.”
He also added that Smollett is likely to be safe in jail, given the heightened public interest in his case.
“He’s a high-profile defendant,” Soffer added. “And if there is anyone who’s safe in jail, who the authorities want to make sure is safe in jail, it’s him.”
Judge James Linn Dubs Jussie Smollett A ‘Charlatan’
Before he passed down his sentence, Judge James Linn emphasized that Smollett’s “extreme” premeditation for the staged hate crime was an aggravating factor in his sentencing. He also stated that Smollett’s actions have made it difficult for real victims of homophobic and racist attacks to step forward and dubbed Smollett both a “charlatan” and a liar.
“You got on the witness stand. You didn’t have to. You did. You certainly had a right to. But you committed hour upon hour upon hour of pure perjury,” Linn prior to the sentencing.
“People seem to care about this. People care passionately for a variety of reasons in this case and the reasons are many,” he continued. “And let me be clear: the sentence I put forward and render down to Mr. Smollett is not in any way to assuage any public sentiment.”
Linn also told Smollett that he had “another side of you that is profoundly arrogant and selfless, selfish and narcissistic.”
Soffer says that the judge’s comments were not “inherently wrong or violate any canon of ethics or otherwise. He spoke sternly. He spoke strongly. And we don’t typically hear words quite that forceful from a judge, but he had the right to say it.”